Sen. Steve Daines introduces legislation on online booking scams - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Sen. Steve Daines introduces legislation on online booking scams

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In the palm of our hands we can use our cell phones and book hotels, flights and rental cars. The Government Affairs Communications Director Katie Longo says 75-percent of people book hotels online and that number is expected to grow.

So, listen carefully, and increasing number of people are falling victim to online booking scams.

At the Best Western is where Senator Steve Daines held a round table with leaders of Montana Lodging and Hospitality. Daines says this year, Montana had record visitors at Yellowstone and Glacier parks.

He says as tourism, and now scams, are on the rise it's important to protect Montanans.

Hospitality workers at the round table shared instances where customers booked a room with them, but because they booked on a fraudulent website, the hotel never received the reservation.

Government Affairs Communications Director  Katie Longo says across the country there's 15 million scams every year, resulting in a loss of  $1.3-billion.

Daines is introducing a legislation he says will help reduce booking website scammers.

"Part of the legislation says the website has to have a disclaimer that says it's not directly affiliated with that hotel. Some of these scam artists have the sites looking exactly like a legitimate site and they find out they're not legitimate so these sites will have to put disclaimers on them and that'll be part of the enforcing mechanism here," Daines said.

Daines says he's been working with a Democrat from Florida and a chairman of commerce from South Dakota. He's hoping the legislation passes, and gets to the President's desk.

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